Here’s an attempt to summarize my work on Cyclee. It’s dense, but I hope readable, and interesting enough to introduce the project and inspire a further read. (I’m jet-lagged in Copenhagen. I can almost hear the millions of wheel spokes outside resonate against the chill wind, ready and waiting for tomorrow’s riders.)
Cyclee strives to foster ad hoc community around shared bicycle commutes. Riders who frequent the same paths can leverage their observations and experience to increase visibility of individual cyclists and visibility of this transportation system essential to a sustainable NYC.
Bikes offer individuals a rare intervention that responds to many major crises at once (economic, climate, health, congestion, etc.). They can do this because they are affordable, accessible, and human scale. New York City has a unique opportunity to further leverage this intervention. Cyclists comprise an essential though less visible segment of our transportation ecosystem — they already outnumber taxis twenty to one and reportedly deliver 50% of all restaurant industry business. But less than a percent of NYC commuters travel by bike. Compare that with Copenhagen, its similar climate, and their rate of 30% cycling commuters. NYC has room for improvement.
The most resilient improvements to the cycling network will come from solutions that cannot be disrupted by errant drivers or budget cuts to infrastructure. Cyclee allows riders to gather their experience and knowledge for distributed use across the scale of rider, community, and city. The platform fosters a peer network because of the power, flexibility, and resiliency inherent to this model. The platform mixes data and qualitative experience about routes, hazards, and the tactics of getting from point A to B. Lane use, bottle necks, and unsafe intersections can inform infrastructure changes and rider choices. Common routes between riders can become shared paths, owned, understood, and improved. Cyclee enables this with minimal effort from cyclists by integrating with their routine of a daily commute.